Hill Running for Fittness

I have never really run before and I don't really plan on getting into it much but my fitness at the moment is dreadful. I want to really improve my general fitness and endurance and specifically I want to get better at hill walking. Would running up hills do this? I'm only really worried about my legs, my upper body gets plenty of exersice.

If this is a good way to improve the above, what sort of routine should I do (bearing in mind that I get out of breath really quickly at the moment)? I know that breaking up exersice into several short, intense bursts is good but I have no idea about timing and owuld probably end up collapsing after 1 minute/not achieving anything if I tried to work it out myself.


  • I would say that to start with if you are not used to running then I would go for the couch to 5k plan or something like that, once you are used to running then you can start to put in some hill reps or interval training
    If its short burst, high intensity stuff that you are after then perhaps circuit training is what you want?
    To get better at hill walking ... walk hills image

  • Thaks for the relpy. Yes I would be walking up hills if that were possible but given the lack of hills to walk up near where I live that isn't an option unless I make a day of it which i cannot do regularly. I'll look at the couch to 5k plan but I expect I can already run for 5km (although quite slowly).

    Really what I'm looking for is something I can do very cheaply (I can't afford to spend much atm) which will improve endurance. Since I like hill walking every now and then I figured it would be best to do something that would at least partially train me for that which lead me to running up hills. I only mentioned short bursts because that is what I was recommended by a mate.

  • Hi John, newbie here so take this with a pinch of salt, firstly I agree with M...eldy and the C2k approach and would be surprised if you can run 5k on your first run though don't know your circumstances.

    Secondly, if there are no hills for you to walk up locally then I presume there are no hills locally to run up? Yes, runing hill repeats will strengthen your legs but (again) like M...eldy says to get better at hill walking then hill walking will probably be best? Squats, calf raises and core excercises might help as well btw.

  • I'm going to give couch to 5k a go, but that won't last for long (I could probably do it within a few weeks). I do have a small hill to run up, but its way to short to walk up.

    AS I said, I'm looking primarily for general fitness. I only though of running up hills because it would help me with walking up them.

  • John, maybe start mid way through the C25K then? Am sure after a few runs you can gauge where you need to be image If it's general fitness you want then that will help I'm sure and maybe try some bodyweight excercises and/or cycling, swimming, next it would be a triathalon for youimage

  • John Smith 117, running up one hill over and over would be mind-numbingly boring.  For general fitness, give running a try.  Go and try a 5k run and see how you get on.  You might catch the bug.

  • Why suggest running up hills if you have no hills near by you ?

    You need to exercise 3 or 4 times a week for best benefit to begin.

    Hills are good but as you're a beginner who gets out of breath quickly - they'll be too severe. Just do the normal running on the flat thing. Do runs at a pace you could chat at. You need to keep at it - but you will improve.
  • I've just clicked what "C25K" means.  Doh!

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